Judge William Sargeant of Maricopa County Superior Court in Arizona ordered state child welfare workers to help a 14-year-old girl obtain a late-term abortion in another state. Arizona state law bans most abortions performed after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Francie Noyes, spokesperson for Arizona Gov. Jane Hull, explained that the Sergeant’s order is legal because “The court is acting in the role of the parents” to achieve “the girl’s best interests.” Anti-abortion activists complained that the ruling violates a state law that prohibits the use of state funds for abortions except in cases of medical emergencies and when pregnancies are caused by rape or incest. A spokesperson for the Arizona Department of Economic Security disagreed, citing statutory rape laws.